Joseph Alleman & Shanna Kunz
The upcoming show at Mockingbird Gallery titled Diffusions of Light features the works of artists and longtime friends Joseph Alleman and Shanna Kunz. Although this is their first show together, the two Utah-based artists go way back—about 15 years they say.
Both artists started off primarily in watercolor, which has influenced their oil-painting methods, utilizing thick and thin paints and channeling a contemporary style. Alleman says as fellow Utahans with roots in watercolor painting, they share a connection between one another—a
harmony in personality and style. “I use a lot more color, and his work is more tonal,” says Kunz. “I think it’s going to be a great combination.”
Alleman strives to create art with an open mind, always looking to explore subject matter like horses, barns or old homes in a new way. In his oil painting Tempest Calmed, a juxtaposition of geometric and organic shapes, the Logan-based artist aims to revisit elements of his past work in terms of subject, color and design.
“I look at a barn, I see the shapes, the patterns of light and dark—there’s a story there that I don’t really know, and I hope there’s an element that comes through [my art] where the viewer can fill in the gaps,” Alleman says.
The Mockingbird Gallery show demonstrates the free-spirited nature of both artists’ work, telling raw and elusive stories only the rural West can convey.
In what she calls the Heartland Series, Kunz incorporates more textural, intimate subjects like cornstalks. Her favorite piece in this body of work, an oil titled Vestiges, is a snowy, winter piece that pulls viewers into a deep space filled with cornstalks. It’s about capturing emotion and feeling like you’re there, Kunz says. After speaking with an Iowa-raised farmer, Kunz decided to add a row of distant cattle to the back of the painting.
“I love when someone walks in and has their own personal story [and ideas] about one of my paintings. That’s when the magic happens,” says Kunz.
Both artists will be in attendance for the Friday, May 4 reception.
Joseph Alleman, Tempest Calmed, oil, 32 x 36"
Shanna Kunz, A Chorus of Aspen, oil on linen, 24 x 24"
Shanna Kunz, Vestiges, oil on linen, 36 x 36"
Joseph Alleman, Foothill Snow, oil, 15 x 15"